On the 6th of September Julian Weinberg participated in the Towards A Global Exchange on Religion in Society – a conference  held at the European Union. The conference was opened by High Representative and Vice President Mogherini, and her full speech can be found hereIn her speech she explained that a new  initiative is being established that will act as an Erasmus for civil society actors and activists who are working on faith and social inclusion.  Ms Moghreini explained that the need for this type of work is greater than ever, “because we live in a moment of the history of the world when coexistence and respect cannot be taken for granted.”

The initiative Julian was one of the speakers on a panel exploring the challenges and opportunities in engaging groups commonly understood as having an exclusivist approach to politics or are highly conservative.  Although commonly perceived to be associated with religious groups in the political field, any group – religious or secular – can exhibit an exclusivist or conservative agenda.  However, there are enormous opportunities for engaging any political and civil society organisations that have constituency. 

The visit to Brussels also provided Julian with the opportunity to hold a series of high-level meetings with the European External Action Service and the European Commission to evaluate developments in the Gulf-MENA region, and to discuss the challenges and opportunities at this time.